In stronger seasons, I’ve embraced the hardships as they come, joyfully giving thanks, because I know that the hard thanksgivings are the ones that see us through, the ones that feed the hope. But sometimes, the brokenness overwhelms. Discouragement reigns and I ask “Why me?” rather than accepting the trials as tools for growth. In these uglier, weaker moments, I may even resent the struggles and selfishly and foolishly dig my heels in against the will of God.
I’m creeping slowly out of such a season.
You see, for years, brokenness seemed to me a sign of weakness. I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want to admit brokenness or defeat—ever. But this hard-hearted perspective is not only a symptom of pride, but also of rebellion, of a dangerous and poisonous pharasitical attitude. I told a close friend last week that really this ugly piece of me that rears up from time to time . . . I just want to stab it to death.
I hate the struggle, but God uses this very struggle to reveal my own brokenness. He opens my eyes to it in the most painful and shocking ways, so that I might bring it to Him and let Him remove it.
The revelation of our brokenness is an opportunity to get closer to Jesus.
Part of allowing Jesus to become my everything has involved some hard, humbling moments of both discipline and grace.
Sometimes, If I’m honest, I’m not receptive to either.
I forget that when God sees me—because He sees all of me—He doesn’t want to stab those broken bits of me to death like I do. He gathers me up in His arms and loves me, with all my fragmented shards and scrapes. He lays me out in discipline because He knows that if I’d let Him in, I could be better, I could better reflect Him.
There’s a strange and certain beauty in the broken lives of believers. Christ shines through the holes, and miraculously His glory covers what we cannot bear to look at in ourselves, if we let Him.
"We cannot grow to be more like Jesus without brokenness." - Mary DeMuth, Everything
A common struggle I experience in the repeated refinement process is the frequent ways I speak hurt into my own heart. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Those times when my sinful attitudes are revealed to me, I often choose to speak harshly and cruelly to myself. My inner monologue can be obnoxious and foul, tearing me down from the inside out.
No one speaks such brutality to me and yet I hurl these words boldly and fiercely at myself without a moment's pause.
This kind of response to our sinful mistakes ruins the opportunity for growth. When God enlightens us to our woeful ways, the opportunity to heal is quickly stomped on when we spend our energy chastising ourselves so harshly that God’s love is eclipsed by our own brutality.
Self-awareness can be a gift if we choose to pray about and take action against our sinful tendencies. And, by take action, I do not mean by way of verbal assault on our hearts and minds from within.
The answer here is grace, both accepting God's generous forgiveness and extending that forgiveness and grace to ourselves. The reminder in 2 Corinthians to “take our thoughts captive” is helpful when considering this:
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).
The voice that condemns and habitually convicts us with guilt when we’ve asked and received forgiveness is not God’s voice, and as such, must be ignored and renounced.
Learning to make Jesus our everything is no easy task. It’s a continual process, a decision that must be made by way of a hundred little decisions each day.
He tenderly reveals our nature and choices so that we might bring the mess of our lives to Him for His mending.
May we live with the willingness to heal, the grace to forgive, and the humility to accept His mercy—every day.
How has God humbled you, and drawn you closer to Himself?
Mary’s book continues to challenge me. I hope you’ll consider picking up a copy for yourself. It’s definitely worth the investment. Also, you have to watch this inspiring trailer for Mary’s new book.
CC Image • David Salafia on Flickr
- Adam Smith published the blogpost Use This Automation Hack to Archive Your Social Media Life – Reade Milner.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 10 Of The Biggest Lies Students Hear Before They Get To College.
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost 40 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From When The Game Stands Tall.
- Eric Arch just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Jim McNeely published the blogpost Christ at the Center of Confidence: 1 John 4:13-21.
- DrDebi Smith published the blogpost 3 Things You Can Do When the Man You Love Gets Off Track.
- Nicole Webb published the blogpost re: pray for peace, then work for it with all your might.
- Marie Osborne published the blogpost Redeem Your Feed: 3 Positive Ways Christians Can Use Social Media.
- Lori Fogleman published the blogpost No. 10 Baylor football opens 2014 with highest preseason ranking since 1957.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost What critics are saying about Amy Grants remix project.
- Heather Riggleman published the blogpost Quinoa & Black Beans with Butternut Squash – A perfect fall recipe.
- Bronwyn Lea published the blogpost When you say I can’t wear a bikini, this is what you’re also saying… .
- Kelley Mathews published the article Great Programs + Zero Personal Contact = Swing and a Miss!.
- Matt Perman published the blogpost Millennials: Bringing Back Entrepreneurship in America.
- Kelley Mathews published the article 'Ordinary Miracles: Awakening to the Holy Work of Parenting' [Review].
- Janet Ridgeway published the blogpost High School and Middle School, Oh My! – Back To School 2014.
- Ashley Howland published the blogpost The scoop on salt: You’re probably eating too much.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Why Peer-To-Peer Selling Is Taking Off And What Companies Can Learn From It.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost New Toyota Minivan Will Make It Easier For Drivers To Yell At Their Kids.
- Nils Smith published the blogpost Vemory automagically finds and recreates your best memories.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost What You Should Know About Gen Z And Branded Video.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Consumerism: Ways Brands Can Harness The Wonderful Power Of Teens.
- Dave Dunham published the blogpost Christian Reflections on Lust, Modesty, and Beauty (Part 7): Lust and Responsibility.
- solomon david published the blogpost Magento Fashion Template Development Services From Leading Company India.
- Steve Perky published the blogpost How Will Google’s “Classroom” Change Discipleship? [Video].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Church’s Website – Content to Connection [Snippet].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Our modern idea of generations is overrated [Quote].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples [Book].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Create Crossword Puzzles to Disciple Children [Video].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost The New .CHURCH Domain Name: Why It Matters To Your Church.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost Jars of Clay celebrates career milestone with ’20′.
- Wayne Stiles published the blogpost Quote by Brad Gray on God’s desires for our failures. [Quote].
- andrea castrillon just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- solomon david published the blogpost How to Choose Best Mobile OS for First Gaming Apps.